Columbia Employees Help Beautify Local School Community Garden

August 19, 2019

On August 9, 2019, employees from Columbia University and Turner Construction Company, Construction Manager for the new Columbia Business School buildings at the Manhattanville campus, volunteered to beautify the Columbia Secondary School (CSS) for Math, Science, & Engineering Community Garden.Located at the northeast corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 119th Street, the garden is a thriving, school-community green space home to an assortment of flora and four garden chickens.

The volunteer event was organized by Columbia Construction Business Initiatives and Columbia Residential Operations in partnership with Turner Construction, which donated project materials.  Under the guidance of CSS Assistant Principal Meredith Hill, more than 20 volunteers helped to repair and extend garden pathways, remove weeds and debris, and re-soil raised garden beds. In addition, the volunteers landscaped around the northern edge of the Croton Aqueduct Gatehouse, the garden’s only physical structure and a remnant of the city’s historical water system. The New York City Parks Department is currently seeking bids to revitalize the gatehouse, one of the last undeveloped Croton Aqueduct Gatehouses in Manhattan, as a café.  

Since 2009, the garden has provided the middle and high school students of CSS, as well as other local students, the opportunity to take science learning outside of the classroom. In addition, the garden invites community members to join as volunteers to assist with composting, garden maintenance, and chicken care. Future plans for the CSS Garden include re-organizing the seating spaces and clearing growth from the northwest corner of the garden.

For more information and to volunteer at future events, please email garden@columbiasecondary.org.